In this issue
CDT in Action
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The last two weeks saw some pretty remarkable developments in Internet policy. First, Google threatened to pull out of China in response to an intrusion on its Gmail service and growing censorship demands. Second, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton upped the ante with a major speech on Internet freedom. Finally, hundreds of commenters weighed in on “net neutrality” at the FCC. Here are some highlights, from CDT’s perspective.
“Enough is enough,” said Google, announcing on January 12 that it would stop censoring results on its Chinese search engine, google.cn, and warning that it might withdrawal from China entirely. The decision was prompted by Google’s discovery that its email service had been hacked, apparently to spy on critics of the Chinese government. In the background were steadily growing Chinese government demands to censor search results.
CDT has always supported the presence of Western companies in difficult markets. At the same time, we've also stressed that companies have to constantly evaluate the risks to human rights. CDT strongly supported Google’s decision. Leslie Harris explored the trade-offs in her Huffington Post blog.
Then, last week, in a historic speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the U.S. would marry the strength of its diplomacy to the transformative power of the Internet to help ensure that people everywhere had unrestricted access to information. CDT, welcoming the speech, said it will be working with the State Department to develop effective programs and policies that advance Internet freedom worldwide.
In response to a suggestion by CDT, the FCC put out an official call for comments on a range of important privacy issues to be considered as part of the development of a National Broadband Plan. CDT urged the Commission to include in its broadband plan privacy related initiatives and recommendations that could help spur the growth of the Internet.
High Value Data Sets in the Wild - Heather West comments on the release last week of big data sets by federal agencies under the Open Government Directive.